This doesn't impact any game I ma actually running, but looking at the number of ancient temples on Malta and given the island's size, it's tempting to rule that the whole thing is covered by a magical aura- 18 miles by 8 miles...
It really is tempting. My only comment would be that this island-wide magic aura might be subsumed in a number of christian and possibly muslim holy sites.
it really depends on the level- at level 3 the churches would be dominion while the city itself would be magic. At level 2 the towns would overwhelm it. The other question becomes what happens to all of that when the Muslims were being run out and the Catholics being installed- it there a period of overlap, or a gap?
I think you're out by a point - given equal strength auras a Divine aura will win out (RoP:tD pg 10), and they're typically 3 within a City and 4 within a Church.
That said, the books are a bit contradictory about the aura within a typical town (rather than a City) - the Core Book says 3 (pg 188), whereas RoP:tD implies it may only be 2 (pg 10).
I'd be surprised if there was a magic aura that was consistently higher than 2 over that large an area without more than ruins to anchor it.
The other thing worth noting is that the "Vast Aura" Boon in covenants (pg 8) suggests that the aura fills "a vast area, perhaps up to 5 miles across". Malta has over 5 times the area of that based on your statistics given above.
Yes, but Malta could reasonably be expected to have a dozen or more areas with magic auras based on archeological records, many of which should be preternaturally at 5 or higher if preternatural tethers can go higher- so its really a case of overlapping auras more than one massive one. Also not that in guardians of the forest it indicates that the entire black forest was one a single magic aura, which is over 2000 square miles today and would have been even larger in the past, so auras that large are canonically possible.
Malta is a simply astonishing setting. I got to make characters for a saga that ran for only about a year of in game time, but even in just that short a time it was clearly so promising. I also found a bestiary of Maltese creatures, plants, and sorcerers—illustrated and in hardcopy!—that is simply to die for. I would like to run a new saga there myself one day.
After a quick check on wikipedia, it seems that most megalithic temples on Malta were in use for about 400 years or less. So, generally, we should probably expect the Magic aura to be about 2-3 across the island, with a few hotspots of 4-5. Based on what I could find quickly, population density was relatively high in Malta during the period. I think a Dominion aura of 2 in a fair portion of the island is reasonable, perhaps 3 in very concentrated areas.
This, in essence, means that during the day, Malta is a hodge-podge of lacunae, and Magic and Dominion auras of about 3. Less populated areas probably stay under a Magic aura. During the night, it all goes Magic with the exception of churches and chapels.
have you checked the hypogeum? There are individual temple complexes which were in use for over 1000 years. Admittedly some of them included migrating some 40 feet from the old temple to the new temple...
I've realised there is a few paragraphs on Malta in Between Sand and Sea (pgs 58 - 59). That gives at least some of the ruins a Magic Aura of strength 4, but also notes that it was where St Paul was shipwrecked, and there are a couple of places (including a Cathedral) with Divine Aura 5.
There's also an article about Calypso's Cave in one of the Mythic Perspectives Issues #7. It has a Regio level 6. As this was a 4th ed fanzine, they said it was a Faerie. However - if Calypso, daughter of a Titan is banished and doesn't regularly have sailors washing up in her aura, then it would be Magical in 5th.
Hm... Would that imply that hotspots of Magic Aura 10 are reasonable in Malta? That would pretty much mean the island is
- One of the most awe-insipiring places of power in Mythic Europe
- There is probably at least one if not more access points to the Magic Realm there.
They are very impressive, and we are talking preternatural tethers here, which by ROP:M maxes out at level 5. The area is scenic, but while there are locations on the island which might have a natural aura of up to 3, I doubt the temple locations are above 2 and possibly at a natural 0 or 1, so auras up to 7, before any regios that might have been created through long forgotten events. So from that perspective yes- I could easily see some temple on Malta having a gate to some long forgotten corner of the magic realm. They certainly have in past games...